• TRIBUTE TO MAHATMA GANDHI
Homage to Mahatma Gandhi on 74th Martyrdom Day
January 30, 2022
On the occasion of the 74th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, an all-religion prayer meeting was organized in Gandhi Smriti, the place of Mahatma Gandhi’s Martyrdom. Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, hon’ble Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla, Vice Chairman of GSDS Shri Vijay Goel, BJP State President Shri Adesh Gupta, Member of Parliament Shri Ramesh Bidhuri, Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter Smt. Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, ambassadors from Spain, Bosnia, Nepal, Maldives, Egypt, Myanmar, Columbia, Zambia, Mongolia, Bhutan, including many other dignitaries and Gandhians including paid homage to Gandhiji.
Famous singer and Padma Shri awardee Smt. Kavita Krishnamurthy presented a devotional musical tribute on the occasion. She filled the atmosphere with devotion by presenting Bapuji’s favourite hymn 'Vaishnav Jan' and Ram Dhun.
Almost 80 school children of Delhi and the Karnatak Society also paid musical tribute to Mahatma Gandhi through Bhajans. Preachers of different religions offered inter-faith prayer on the occasion. Led by Shri Laxmi Dass, Vice President Harijan Sevak Sangh, the spinners Ms. Shweta Mehrotra, Shri Vivek and Ms. Renu spun throughout the programme. The program concluded with a silent tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
Sports Day in Gandhi Darshan
January 3, 2022
Led by Shri Dipanker Shri Gyan, Director GSDS, the sports day organised by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti on January 03, 2022 saw great enthusiasm amongst the participants who enjoyed thoroughly playing different sports with fun and frolic. It was a day full of celebrations and joyous memories. The sports day was inaugurated by Smt. Sangeeta Verma. The sports day was organised for all the staff of GSDS and the students of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana. Enthusiastic participants took part in Cricket, badminton, volleyball, ludo, carom, chess, table tennis.
Webinar on Youth and Transformative Leadership
January 12, 2022
A webinar on Youth and Transformative Leadership was conducted by Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti, GSDS on ‘National Youth Day’ to commemorate the 159th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on January 12, 2022. It was moderated by Khushi Nigam, from Kirorimal College, University of Delhi and also an intern at GSDS. Ten enthusiastic youths from different backgrounds and from different states across the country spoke on different sub-topics under the main theme. The subtopics were: Alternative dispute resolution, Nonviolent Communication and the role of mediator, Media literacy and youth literacy, Technological literacy, Gandhian Servant Leadership, Importance of leader’s role in Geopolitics, Youth as voices for Climate change, etc.
• Key takeaways from the webinar:
One of the speaker highlighted how youth has brought a paradigm shift from the earliest trend of world summit mainly concern about Terrorism, Trade, to more burning issues such as Sustainability, Climate change. The change is brought by the youth from various nations through awareness and putting voices to be heard. Here, Indian philosophy’s focus on Individualism plays a great role in shaping the leader which eventually inspires masses.
On the topic Media literacy and youth literacy, it was mentioned that Swamiji being a transformative leader inspired youth and influenced them to perform better. He talks about two important characters to build, intellectuality and humility. Intellectuality comes from knowledge and knowledge comes from reading. He always inspired youth to be human, and being human we can do better to our society, because it is not only the development for ourselves, ultimately it is developing the nation. So in the case of Media literacy, one has to learn media and should know how to evaluate media messages. The speaker also talked about today’s media content creators which would be an ideal way if they create rational and constructive content which can give an impact on others. And through this Media literacy can be an important weapon for youth in India.
Another speaker brought up the importance of leaders in geopolitics where he said that when young people are the pillars of the country, geopolitics is the cornerstone of the country. Geopolitics is a major part of a country including its location, climate, natural resources, population etc. If a country has a strong politics it will develop in the social, political and economic sphere of the country. He also cited an example of geopolitics based on the climate of Odisha, a huge number of students around 27000 of social sciences celebrated Environment week in June. It was not just students but other scholars, teachers also participated in it.
On the topic Technological literacy for leaders of the 21st century, the speaker said that Technology as an intimidating factor that, if one doesn't know about it, acts like magic and through this youth who are leaders of tomorrow can adapt more effectively. Digitization has increased individuals' potential. But at the same time it has also made us volatile, because at that time literacy was just extracting information from the internet from books encyclopedias. Now in the 21st century literacy is all about constructing and validating.
On the topic Alternative dispute resolution, Nonviolent Communication and the role of mediator, the speaker talked about youth as young futuristic leaders who should transform the elements of leadership through Nonviolent Communication and the skills of mediation. When we start practicing Nonviolent Communication we'll start self introspection ourselves that our action or spoken could hurt others. Finally a speaker speaks up on Transformative Leadership from the perspective of Gandhian Servant Leadership. The speaker said that there is an utmost need for a humanistic approach amidst the world moving ahead for less regard of human value and virtues on maximizing wealth and power. Gandhi is among the foremost of the servants of humanity who is led by examples. His central idea of Servant leadership is its transforming influence on other people through trust, mentoring, vision, modeling and empowerment. Servant leadership taught a leader to be empathize with the masses and it will eventually develop trust and mutual understanding between them. This leadership quality is oriented for holistic development which means development for the welfare of the people mentally, physically, socially, economically and emotionally. In order to be a servant leader one should be a good active listener, should be fluent in their local dialect, they should be flexible to their thought and ideas and always open to scope of changes for a better result and also they should always concern for the development of the community.
Understanding the Self and Nonviolent Communication
January 15, 2022
The session conducted on the January 15, marked the fourth session of the course. It was attended by over 70 participants. Following the session on the Gandhian model of Nonviolent Communication, this session was designed to direct the conversation over to the practical and psychological skills that underlie nonviolent communication. The first step in any kind of learning involves turning inward and observing the self. It’s at this stage that one is able to evaluate ones needs and potential. The goal of this session was to make the attendees aware of the potential within themselves and to take the steps to harness that potential. The session derailed various psychological theories about the self, the associate concepts and components of the self (such as self-esteem, self-confidence, self-concept etc.), and its relevance to this discourse. Understanding the self lies at the heart of intrapersonal communication, which is the origin of communication at any other level- interpersonal, intercultural, and so on.
Thus, the session also discussed the importance of extending the spirit of nonviolence towards oneself- laying the foundation of nonviolent communication at the intrapersonal level. The middle of the session comprised of a discussion about the difference between ‘selfishness’ and ‘self-care’. At this point, the discussion also stretched to universal human needs and how they relate to the preservation of the self, and in turn impact wellbeing and communication. The ‘self’ as full of potential was also discussed in detail to see how one can move in direction of fulfilling their potential. After this, the various intrapersonal skills relevant to this discourse, how they relate to our needs, and impact our wellbeing were explored. The whole discussion as then tied to the application of nonviolent communication as the skills revealed ran parallel to those in NVC. Specific NVC strategies to communicate the needs of the self and for self-care were then discussed. These include:
• Identifying negative thought patterns
• Practicing positive affirmations
• Acknowledging strengths
• Reframing weaknesses
• And practicing respect, compassion, and kindness towards the self
These skills were found to be crucial for the creation of an ecosystem of nonviolence. The final 20 minutes of the session detailed practical skills and reflective exercises that can be adopted to improve self-awareness and understanding. Strategies like yoga, meditation, journaling, reflection, bodily observation, knowing one’s triggers and needs were encouraged. Reflective exercises like the SWOT analysis, various reflective journal prompts, ‘Success Stories’, ‘Needs Picture Album’, ‘Understanding Change’ etc were also discussed. These popularly practiced activities were compiled and brought up to point the attendees to accessible ways in which they can improve their self-awareness and develop their personal resources.
75 Poetry Sessions on the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav launched
January 15, 2022
As part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti in association with Abhimanch launched an on-line series of poetry sessions on January 15, 2022. Poets from all across the country are joining in this initiative. 75 series has been planned in this direction. So far the ten sessions have been conducted on January 1, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29 and January 30. 56 poets from across the country took part in these sessions. Shri Nityanand Tiwari, Director Abhimanch is coordinating the entire programme.
73rd Republic Day celebrations celebrated in Gandhi Darshan
January 26, 2022
Dr Vedabhyas Kundu Programme Officer GSDS unfurled the Tricolour in Gandhi Darshan as part of the 73rd Anniversary of the Republic Day Celebrations on January 26, 2022 as GSDS staff and students of DDUGKY joined the celebrations in an infectious mood and spirit.
Competitions as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav launched
January 30, 2022
As part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav, Vice-Chairman Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti Shri Vijay Goel launched various competitions for school children different categories in the age-group of Class V-XII. Different subjects were chosen for the children. The competitions in Hindi and English were announced for:
1. Poetry – The Mahatma as I Understand Him/How can I bring Gandhi into my life’
2. Essay – The Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in Contemporary Times/How Do I bring Gandhi into my life today?/Mahatma Gandhi in Government planning and schemes/Why I am influenced by Mahatma Gandhi
3. Painting/Poster-Making Competition – Gandhi as I understand Him/Gandhi and Sanitation/Gandhi and Environment and Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of Nonviolence
4. One-Minute Video Film Making Competition – Gandhi as you know him/Nonviolence in our daily life
PROGRAMMES IN NORTH EAST
National Seminar on “Subhash ke Mahatma”
January 23, 2022
The Foundation of any Nation rests on its rich history: Pankaj Chaturvedi
Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti in association with National Institute of Technology (NIT) Arunachal Pradesh and Sangyartham Research Foundation organised a national seminar on “Subhash ke Mahatma” as part of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on January 23, 2022 and to celebrate the Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav. Prof. T G Sitharam, Director IIT Guwahati was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, Editor National Book Trust India was the key note speaker on the occasion. Prof. Pinakeswar Mahatma, Director NIT, Arunachal Pradesh, Dr. Ram Prakash Sharma and Dr. Preetisudha Meher from NIT AP were the other speakers on the occasion.
Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi traced the history of the Indian national movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the pivotal role played by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in developing an alternative model for achieving freedom. He said that right from the initial years when Subhash Bose went to London to prepare for the ICS examination, he wasn’t convinced of his role as an ICS, for he was more inclined and inspired to take part in the struggle for freedom back in the country. “Subhash could not make compromises with a system that was inflicting atrocities towards his countrymen”, said Dr. Chaturvedi.
Dr. Chaturvedi further spoke of the visionary role of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose when he realised that the Congress needed a proper constitution for putting forth their agenda more vigorously.
Speaking about the respect which Subhash Bose had for Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Chaturvedi said that when Netaji met Mahatma Gandhi, he apologised before Gandhi for his English inclination. Though Netaji realised that Mahatma Gandhi’s policy of nonviolent struggle for independence could not be an effective medium for attaining freedom from the British rule, yet the respect grew over the years.
Bringing out various correspondences between Netaji and other leaders of the period, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi said that such was the visionary approach of Netaji that even Motilal Nehru had bestowed his confidence in Subhash.
He also highlighted the proactive role which Subhash Chandra Bose played as the chief executive officer of the Kolkata Municipal Council when he undertook major repairs of roads, changed the names of parks that were having British names, ensured proper water supply in the city.
Citing the time 1925-1926 when Netaji was imprisoned in Rangoon and when he decided to organise the Durga Puja which was refused by the British authorities, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi said that it was Netaji who went on an indefinite fast unto death remembering what Mahatma Gandhi had always practised in his nonviolent struggle. “Finally, after fifteen days of his fast unto death, the British accepted the demands of Netaji, reaffirming his belief in the power of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent struggle to defeat the enemy.
Dr. Chaturvedi mentioned that while Netaji’s health was dwindling because of pneumonia, he was shifted aboard India to Europe where Netaji took the onus of garnering international support for achieving India’s freedom from the British. “Politics at that time was different that despite differences in their ideologies and methods, the leaders were together in their fight for independence”, said Dr. Pankaj.
Stating that it was Subhash Bose who for the first time addressed Mahatma Gandhi as “The Father of the Nation”, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi highlighted the role of Netaji in propagating Khadi and Gandhiji’s ideas of self-reliance for achieving freedom.
He also cited an interview of Mahatma Gandhi with Louis Fischer when Fischer questioned about Netaji’s chosen path for achieving freedom, and said that Mahatma Gandhi’s reply to Fischer that “Show me another patriot like Subhash” proved the respect and love the leaders had for one another.
Dr. Chaturvedi further referring to various other correspondences between Netaji and Gandhiji said in his concluding remarks that mutual respect between them cannot be questioned. He further said that in order to keep the edifice or foundation of the nation strong, it is important for one to know the history of the land, its culture, festivals and above all the sacrifices people have made for achieving this freedom.
Earlier, Prof. T G Sitharam in his address called Netaji as an epitome of strength and fearlessness and stated that his political views were based on complete freedom where he wanted a classless society. He also spoke of the Government of India’s decision of beginning the Republic Day celebrations from January 23rd onwards and the initiatives taken by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi towards highlighting the contribution of Netaji in the freedom movement.
Prof. Pinakeswar Mahanta in his welcome address congratulated the initiative taken up by GSDS and NIT Arunachal Pradesh towards the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and hoped that the youth imbibe the spirit of dedicating their services towards the nation.
The session that began with the rendition of the original composition of Vandemataram, was moderated by Dr. Preetisudha Meher along with Dr. Ram Prakash Sharma who introduced the guests on the occasion.
On behalf of GSDS, Shri Rajdeep Pathak, Programme Executive, thanked the distinguished speakers for their deliberations. Shri Gulshan Gupta, North East Coordinator coordinated the programme.
National Seminar on Youth Festival
January 28, 2022
National Institute of Technology, Arunachal Pradesh, Jote Arunachal Pradesh in collaboration with Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti and Bhartiya Shiksham Mandal, yuva Ayam, Arunachal Pradesh and Sangyartham Research Foundation organised a National Seminar on “Youth Festival” on January 28, 2022 as part of the celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of Independence and celebration of the 159th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
The chief guest on this occasion was Prof. Mridul Hazarika, Former Vice-Chancellor, Guwahati University and Present Vice Chancellor APEX Professional University, Arunachal Pradesh. The keynote speakers on this occasion were Swami Shastrajnananda, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Saradapitha and Dr. Uma Shankar Pachauri, General Secretary, Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal. The organizing committee included Prof. Pinakeswar Mahanta, Director, NITAP; Dr. Ram Prakash Sharma, Associate Professor, NITAP and Shri Gulshan Gupta, Northeast Coordinator GSDS.
National Seminar on Commemorating the 74th Punya Tithi of Mahatma Gandhi
January 30, 2022
National Institute of Technology, Arunachal Pradesh, Jote Arunachal Pradesh in collaboration with Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti and Sangyartham Research Foundation organised a National Seminar on “Commemorating the 74th Punya Tithi of Mahatma Gandhi” on January 30, 2022 virtually. The Chief Guests on this occasion were Justice Jainendra Kumar Ranka and Prof. Ganga Prasad Prasain, Vice Chancellor, Tripura University. The key note speakers were Dr. Varsha Das, Former Editor in Chief, National Book Trust, Ministry of Education who spoke on “Gandhi’s view of nonviolence” and Prof. Sudhir Chandra, Golden Jubilee Professor who spoke on “India of Gandhi’s Dreams”. The organizing committee that organised the programme included included Prof. Pinakeswar Mahanta, Director, NITAP; Dr. Ram Prakash Sharma, Associate Professor, NITAP and Dr. Rakesh Kumar Singh, Hony. Director SRF India.
Dialogue on Community Mediation for Champaran Teachers
January 11, 2021
As a follow-up to the five-day residential orientation programme of the Champaran teachers, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti organised an online mediation programme on ‘Community Mediation’ for the teachers of the Rajkiya Buniyadi Vidyalayas of Brindavan and Sirasia Adda schools. Senior Advocate, Shri Vikram Singh led the teachers into an interactive dialogue where discussions on interconnectedness, empathy and the importance of respect for one another is important to resolve conflicts and disputes.
Ongoing Sessions with Galgotia University and Bharathiar University
As part of the ongoing training and orientation programme and sessions in association with Galgotia University and Bharathiar University various sessions were organised. They are:
• Galgotia University
1. Conflict Resolution – January 7, 2022
2. Bullying – January 9, 2022
3. Nonviolent Communication and Human Interconnectedness – January 14, 2022
4. Nonviolent Communication and Media Literacy – January 16, 2022
5. Evaluation – January 21 & 23, 2022
6. Valedictory Ceremony – January 28, 2022
• Bharathiar University
1. Gandhian Model of Nonviolent Communication – January 1, 2022
2. Understanding the Self – January 15, 2022
3. Emotional Health and Universal Needs – January 22, 2022
4. Altruistic Tendencies in Nonviolent Communication
Inauguration of Capacity Building Programme of Teachers of Syed Jamaluddin Afghan High School
January 21, 2022
Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti in association with the Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi organised the inauguration of the “Capacity Building Programme of Teachers of Syed Jamaluddin Afghan High School” on January 21, 2022. His Excellency, Mr. Farid Mamundzay, Ambassador of Afghanistan to India, Ms. Deepti Jharwal, IFS, Deputy Secretary PAI Division, Ministry of External Affairs; Shri Dipanker Shri Gyan, Director GSDS and Dr. Vedabhyas Kundu, Programme Officer, GSDS spoke on the occasion. Mr. Rahul Banerjee from Raisina House, New Delhi facilitated the programme. It was decided to organize regular capacity building programmes for teachers and students of the school.
International Seminar on Martyr’s Day
January 30, 2022
The Consulate General of India, New York, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, USA in cooperation with Gopio Manhattan and Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti organised an international seminar on “Martyrs Day” on January 30, 2022 as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav. The speakers included: Amb. Randhir K Jaiswal, CGI, Ny; Shri Vijay Goel, Vice Chairman, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti; Smt. Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Mrs. Renu Sharma, President, Beti and Shiksha Foundation, New Delhi, Dr. Navia Mehta, Chairman Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, USA; Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman Gopio International and Pad Shri Dr. H R Shah, Chairman and CEO TV Asia. Smt Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee underlined on Gandhian compassion. She talked about how Bapu was the epitome of love and affection and took care of all. She felt these values of compassion, love, affection and deep respect for each other should be promoted in a big way. The Chief Guest, the Consulate General of India in New York, Mr Randhir Jaiswal recollected the eternal principles of Mahatma Gandhi and said these should be followed by all. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Vijay Goel said, “As we observe the Martyrdom Day of Mahatma Gandhi, let us revisit his eternal principles of truth and nonviolence which remains relevant to all generations and for all times. Mahatma Gandhi has rightly said, “If one does not practice nonviolence in one’s personal relations with others, and hopes to use it in bigger affairs, one is vastly mistaken. Nonviolence like charity must begin at home.” He further said, “For Gandhiji, nonviolence was ‘truth-creating’, and he intended to replace violence with truth. Truth to Bapu could never fade or disappear, for truth was God. At the end of his autobiography, he says ‘there is no other God than Truth’. God, truth and love to Gandhi were all-pervasive, penetrating everything. Also, to stand disciplined for Truth, in the face of superior force, was at the core of nonviolent resistance for Gandhi. Also Gandhi declared, “Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our very being”. “Mahatma Gandhi was one of the greatest proponents of nonviolent communication and all of us have a lot to learn on how we should communicate from our Father of the Nation. Nonviolent communication is very practical and each one of us needs to practice it sincerely in our daily lives. Through our efforts in nonviolent communication, we can motivate others also to be nonviolent communicators”.